Reflections of a new Manhattanite (part 1)

I just celebrated my first year living in Manhattan. People often ask me how easy/difficult it was for me to adjust to life in the US, New York, a new city…and I usually reply in a rather cocky way (or so perceived because I am French): Oh you know, I have made it through Korea, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia, so how difficult can New York be?

Well…there have been some minor challenges the first few months but all in all it’s been fantastic. I do realize though there are a few situations that still puzzle or irritate me. One of them, happening daily, is:

Walking our dog in Upper East Side.

Meet Ruby, our gorgeous and sweet Hong Kong rescued dog. We are very happy to live ten minutes walk from Central Park but we have to cross a few avenues to get there. And that’s where it gets dicey.

Ruby, rescue dog from Hong Kong
  1. I am very well aware I should always walk around with poop bags and clean after my dog. I forgot them one day at home and after my dog was done, I realized with horror I had none, so I tried to conceal her deed with fallen leaves (artistically displayed I have to say), and ran away in shame, convinced that hordes of self-righteous, speaking their mind, telling you what to do New Yorkers were running after me.
  2.  I know my dog should be on a short leash so that no one (especially joggers) trips or falls over. I witnessed a verbal fight one day between a dog walker and a jogger and it was not pretty. I counted no less than fifteen f**k you and other expletives. The dog seemed unimpressed. In that case though, I was on the jogger’s side (he was young and handsome but that is not the point).
  3. I must dodge all the people who are texting/messenging/whatsapping/facebooking or instagraming and walking straight into me. And there are many. Most ignore me, some apologize and a few dare show their dissatisfaction. I have decided from now on to make a point not to budge one inch or bump into them, on purpose.
  4. My dog should not bark, attack, growl at anyone or any dog, as that could cause emotional distress.
  5. I should respectfully step out of the way of the botoxed-pearled and Chaneled self-entitled upper east side older women who find it offensive to share a sidewalk with anyone ~ let alone a dog. They are my new pet peeve, more on that later.
  6. I am aware that every single doorman eyes us suspiciously, waiting to see if my dog will pee on one of the “curb your dog” flower arrangements (one even claims the area is under camera surveillance…seriously? And what then, my dog pees and you’ll take me to jail?). Look, I get it, no one wants my dog to pee on their stairs, in front of their door, on their plants, their bikes…even the garbage man doesn’t want dog pee on his garbage bags…so either I train our dog to pee exactly where it is appropriate to pee (not happening, and where would that ideal spot be anyway?) or I am thinking of walking around with a contraption a la Ghostbusters to clean after my dog. Any start up out there that might be interested?


Upper East Sidely yours,


Author of Bigoudis a New York City


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